We’ve made a bunch of progress on these pieces in the last week or so.
First and foremost, we got the bag system running multiple parts now. We’ve also made an upgrade to the molds that I’ll detail in a separate post because it is a neat little process.
We’ve also had to deal with stubborn vacuum pumps. We have a few of them, and none of them like to run at anything less than full vacuum. Unfortunately, these B8 vent and MMI pieces are made of flimsy plastic and anything over 5psi starts to make the parts contort inward on themselves. So, we have to run the pumps at about half vacuum (via a pressure valve at the mouth of the vacuum bag). The pumps get angry about this and spit out oil and smoke. Previously this meant dealing with a smokey shop when the pump was running, but I fashioned this ghetto exhaust out of PVC tubing to allow the smoke to vent under our bay door. If you look closely at the bottom of the tubing you can see where a bunch of light yellow oil has collected.
On to the good stuff. You can see here the fist few pieces out of the bags that have full epoxy on them. These pieces are a day or so away from being cured enough to be put into our oven. Once in the oven they’ll be baked for 36 hours or so to improve the strength and complete the cure. After that, the excess fiber will be trimmed off, they’ll be sanded smooth, and sprayed with several layers of clearcoat.
More pics of these pieces in a few days after they get cleaned up.